I am a fan of the Star Trek TV Series, I like the way its creator Gene Roddenberry and subsequent writers present a different perspective to look at issues prevailing in our human society at large. It’s easier to talk about the conflicts affecting humans due to Religion or Race when your setting is amongst “fictitious” species on imaginative planets out there.
I was looking forward to the release of the latest Motion Picture in the series Star Trek Beyond (2016). Starring Chris Pine as Captain James T.Kirk, Beyond’s story is what happens when the crew of Starship USS Enterprise while in Starbase Yorktown are sent on a rescue mission to Altamid, a planet within the nebula. Unlike previous instalments of Star Trek where the action mostly happens aboard the USS Enterprise, in Beyond the starship gets destroyed effortlessly in the first 30 minutes itself – the first letdown in the film. After the crash landing of the ship, the crew is taken hostage by an alien commander called Krall. The Enterprise crew led by their Captain escape and then destroy the bad forces.
The screenplay had its share of chases and action but was not fast-paced enough to awe you. In the film, it feels like Commander Spock‘s character gets more scope than Captain Kirk’s character, not a bad thing by itself but you don’t see any of the leadership skills normally exhibited by the Captain in a Star Trek story. Unlike the TV series where the stories usually revolve around interpersonal issues amongst the crew, racial tensions between the species, telepathic communication and questions about life & death, the film is a straightforward chase, survival and battle story. I missed seeing those parts, but a motion picture has to appeal to a wide range of audiences including those who haven’t seen previous instalments of the franchise, Beyond gets that done. There was nothing new in terms of technology or techniques that were shown in the film to impress a Star Trek fan; that’s where Beyond falls short. I felt I was watching yet another sci-fi battle and not a Star Trek story.